39. The Cool Founding Father
If there was a sitcom about the Founding Fathers, Gouverneur Morris would probably get depicted as the cool one. Benjamin Franklin was perhaps the only other Founding Father who could have competed with Morris in the coolness department. Morris was also, by his era’s standards, a pretty decent guy.
Many Founding Fathers were hypocrites when it came to stuff like slavery. E.g.; Thomas Jefferson, who penned “All men are created equal” to begin the Declaration of Independence, even as he lived in luxury off the sweat of human chattel toiling on his plantation. Over a thousand slaves were kept just between him and George Washington alone. Morris by contrast decried slavery as a “nefarious institution”. At the Constitutional Convention, he argued: “Proceed southwardly, and every step you take, through the great regions of slaves, presents a desert increasing with the increasing proportion of these wretched beings”.